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Thread: AB Nor = Alberta Rockies North (Jasper & Willmore) Cataract Pass - Cline Pass - Afternoon Lakes
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-29-2020, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
zeljkok
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Default Cataract Pass - Cline Pass - Afternoon Lakes

This was 3 day, 2 night trip into Cataract - Cline Pass area of White Goat Wilderness I heard so much about and wanted to visit for a long time. Area is remote & day trips are not really feasible. I dislike pacman style of backpacking & prefer to setup "base camp" whenever possible, then go exploring with luxury of light pack without worrying of setting up / breaking camps every day. Below Cataract Pass is well known wild bivi spot that served well for this purpose. First night there were 4 or 5 other parties camping but on second night I was on my own. I had no specific plan; only must was view into "Valley of the Lakes". Bomber bluebird 3 days and only thing that was not perfect were mosquitoes (surprisingly none at Cline pass, which is generally more swampy). Day by Day breakdown:


  • Day 1) Hike in via Nigel Pass -- Cataract Pass to bivi spot; setup camp

  • Day 2) Aimless wondering in exceptional alpine area. Went skinny dipping in second Cline tarn, then scrambled awkward slope to col above Valley of the Lakes & scouted several more routes for next visits

  • Day 3) Hiked out back via Cataract Pass, abandoning loop return partially for fear of high waters / unknown Brazeau ford, partially to enjoy insanely beautiful Cataract Pass / Brazeau canyon again, this time in mid-morning light



Photo teaser:


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[Exceptional scenery of lower Brazeau canyon on day 3]


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[Large glacially fed lake below Cataract Pass and Source of Brazeau River]


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[Life sucks! Home sweet home for 2 nights. Cataract Pass upper center and there was fairly steep unavoidable snow slope leading to it]


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[Second Cline Tarn, with long ridge of Mt. Willis upper right on Day 2. No mosquitoes. Went skinny dipping on return from Afternoon Lakes col]


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[Fabled "Valley of the Lakes" or "Afternoon Lakes" from the col reached by steep scramble from Cline Pass]


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[Descending back from Cline Pass to bivi below Cataract Pass on Day 2. There is also trail below that formidable mountain range leading to Pinto Lake; someone came up from there in the morning]


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[Wolverine! There were 5 of them playing & I had luxury of watching them for good 15-20 seconds before they noticed me & scampered away]

Sometimes areas you hear about so much end up disappointing simply because expectations become too high. Not this time; it is worth every bit & I will be coming back for sure.


Will post more details with photos for each day in next couple of days.

Last edited by zeljkok; 07-31-2020 at 11:08 PM.
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